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House prices rose by 9.5% in the UK in 2015, according to one of the country's largest mortgage lenders.

Halifax said the average house price is now £208,286, following a 1.7% rise in December. But that is in stark contrast to estimates provided by Nationwide at the end of December. The building society said prices had gone up by around 4.5% in 2015.

House price figures are usually based on a company's own lending data, which usually results in sometimes large differences. Compared to Halifax's average of price of nearly £210,000, Nationwide said it is just under £197,000.

Focusing on Halifax's growth figure of 9.5%, the last time prices rose so quickly was in 2006. That year saw 9.6% growth when house prices were booming prior to the financial crisis.

Halifax's housing economist Martin Ellis said a shortage of available homes was to blame for rising prices.

"This situation is unlikely to change significantly in the short term, resulting in continuing upward pressure on prices," he said.